Fine. RCM 1003(b)(3)

  1. uscourtmartiallawyers159United States v. Tualla, 52 M.J. 228 (2000). A special court-martial is not precluded from imposing a sentence that includes both a fine and forfeitures as long as the combined fine and forfeitures do not exceed the maximum two-thirds forfeitures that can be adjudged at a special court-martial. A 2002 amendment to RCM 1003(b)(3) reflects this holding.
  2. United States v. Williams , 18 M.J. 186 (C.M.A. 1984). Other than limits on cruel and unusual punishment, there are no limits on the amount of fine. Provision that fines are “normally for unjust enrichment” is directory rather than mandatory. Unless there is some evidence the accused was aware that a fine could be imposed, a fine cannot be imposed in a guilty plea case.
  3. United States v. Morales-Santana , 32 M.J. 557 (A.C.M.R. 1990). “Because a fine was not specifically mentioned in the pretrial agreement and the military judge failed to advise the accused that a fine might be imposed, the accused may have entered a plea of guilty while under a misconception as to the punishment he might receive.” The court disapproved the fine.
  4. United States v. Motsinger , 34 M.J. 255 (C.M.A. 1992). The military judge’s failure to mention fine in oral instructions did not preclude court-martial from imposing fine, where sentence worksheet submitted to court members with agreement of counsel addressed the issue.
  5. United States v. Smith , 44 M.J. 720 (Army Ct. Crim. App. 1996). Accused pled guilty to kidnapping, rape and felony murder of child. Sentenced by MJ to DD, confinement for life, total forfeitures, reduction to E-1, and fine of $100,000.00. The military judge included a fine enforcement provision as follows: “In the event the fine has not been paid by the time the accused is considered for parole, sometime in the next century, that the accused be further confined for 50 years, beginning on that date, or until the fine is paid, or until he dies, whichever comes first.” The Army Court found fine permissible punishment, but found the fine enforcement provision not “legal, appropriate and adequate.” Fine enforcement provision void as matter of public policy, so court approved sentence, including fine, but without enforcement provision.
  6. United States v. Phillips , 64 M.J. 410 (2007). Accused found guilty of various charges and was sentenced to a reprimand, 5 years, dismissal, and $400,000 fine. The military judge included a contingent confinement provision that if the fine was not paid, Phillips would serve an additional 5 year confinement. The Convening Authority reduced the fine to $300,000 and suspended for 24 months execution of the sentence adjudging a fine in excess of $200,000. Upon Phillips failure to pay the fine, the commanding general ordered a fine enforcement hearing. After the hearing, Phillips was ordered to serve an additional 5 years for willful failure to pay the unsuspended fine. CAAF held that the CG who executed the contingent confinement provision was authorized to do so and he was not required to consider alternatives to contingent confinement after concluding that Phillips was not indigent. Fine is due on the date that the Convening Authority takes action on the sentence.

RCM 1003(b)(3)

United States v. Phillips